Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Museum have books on King and Queen Family histories?

The Tavern Museum’s library contains various books on King and Queen family histories, genealogies, church records, cemetery records, businesses and school records. Also in the library, the King and Queen County Historical Society Bulletins, published semi-annually, are a source of information about family histories.

Is there any information on African American history?

We do not catalog material in this way, but there is material on black churches, schools and people catalogued by name. There is also a list of documents (accounts, receipts, etc.) that contain the names of slaves.

What should be taken into consideration when researching families in King and Queen County?

First, King and Queen County was formed from New Kent County in 1691. King William and Caroline Counties were formed later from King and Queen, in 1702 and 1727 respectively. Evidence of your family may be found in the records of one of these other counties if they lived in the area of the county that was used to create the new county. Second, most of the public records (wills, deeds, marriages) of King and Queen County were destroyed by fire in 1828 and again in 1864. Because the county’s public records were burned, it is challenging to do research here, but articles in the Historical Society Bulletin, family papers in the Archives, and other published sources in the library possibly have applicable information, especially if the information sought is about county officials or prominent members of their church. A project is underway to match the early patents (land holdings) with a modern highway map.

What resource materials are available at the Tavern Museum?

The King & Queen County Historical Society has collected archival material for many years from donors interested in preserving King and Queen history. These personal records, in original or photocopy form, include genealogies, letters, diaries, scrapbooks, photographs, newspaper articles, maps and accounts. The Tavern Museum Library shelves hold many published genealogies, county histories, church histories, and other books relating to the county. Find there also bound copies of the Historical Society Bulletin, published twice yearly since 1958, containing research on a wide variety of subjects. Other resources are the Tavern Museum Exhibits which contain material of general interest and provide a context for understanding the history of the county.

Is there an index of material available for research?

Use the indexes to the Bulletins, the Library Catalog and the Archives Catalog under “Research” on this site to find references to your subject. You may purchase all of the Historical Society publications of interest on the Book Shop page. If you have further questions about catalogued references, please send us an email.

Does the Museum have maps of King and Queen County that identify historic places in the county.

The Museum has maps with locations of the numerous historic homes and properties that exist in King and Queen County.

Does the Tavern Library lend books?

All materials in the archives and the library are available for research in the library only. Photocopies can be made at a reasonable rate. Bulletins and books published by the Historical Society are available in the library, and copies can be purchased in the Museum Shop.

Can the archives be accessed outside of normal Museum hours?

Contact the Museum well ahead of your visit to schedule an appointment. We will make every effort to accommodate your visit. Leave a message on the Tavern Museum answering machine or send an email. You will receive a response as soon as possible.

Can marriage records, census records, wills or deeds be accessed from the archives?

These are public records, available in the nearby King and Queen County Clerk’s Office and at the Library of Virginia, but are not available in the Historical Society archives.

Does the Tavern Museum have information about individuals who lived in King & Queen and fought in the Civil War?

There are memoirs and letters written by soldiers from the county who fought in the Civil War, and there are a few other records from that era that survived. There are also excerpts from diaries that can be found in the books in the Museum library.

Does the Historical Society offer a research service?

The Society does not provide a full service research function, but our docents at the Tavern Museum are happy to assist you when you visit. We will help you identify and find documents in the collection that apply to your subject. We also try to answer simple questions through email or U.S. mail.

Can the Museum be used for events?

The Museum can be used for lunches or meeting for a group of 25 people or less for a fee of $50.00. You can apply for use by completing an application form that should be signed by the person in charge of the event and will be responsible for the payment.

How did the local communities get their unusual names?

The origin of some of the names of the communities and roads in King and Queen County has been an ongoing topic of interest. So we have recently asked several county residents to help find the answer to the most unusual names. These will be posted on this site when we have them.

What other attractions are in the area?

Examples of places of interest in the vicinity of the Museum are the Historic Courthouse Green that has a clerk’s office and a jail that date from around 1828. Approximately five miles north is the historic J.C. Graves Museum, which was built as a one-room schoolhouse in 1895 and now serves as an African American Museum. Other places of interest can be found here.